Screening and Early Detection | Personalized Treatment | Research and Clinical Trials | Additional Patient Support
Breast cancer patients make up the highest percentage of Kellogg Cancer Center patients, and NorthShore’s comprehensive, multidisciplinary breast health program is one of the largest academic multispecialty practices in the state of Illinois. NorthShore's was the first Center in the Chicago region to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. NorthShore is also designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. These distinctions reflect our high-quality, integrated, patient-centered care from an established team of specialists.
For women diagnosed with breast cancer, the experienced, collaborative team of specialists at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center and its Center for Breast Health combine the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive and compassionate approach to care.
Drawing from the diverse experience of physicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers and a host of other highly trained healthcare professionals, the Kellogg Cancer Center team works collaboratively and is dedicated to putting patients—and families—at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.
Patients who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer have the added support of a specialized oncology nurse navigator to guide them through their diagnosis and treatment.
As part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, NorthShore provides our patients even greater access to a broad network of experts. NorthShore and Mayo specialists share expertise and collaborate on complex disease diagnoses and treatments. Patients benefit from enhanced care at NorthShore, without the need to travel outside the region.
Screening and Early Detection
Dedicated to breast cancer prevention, our team places a major emphasis on early detection and performs more than 80,000 mammograms annually at eight screening facilities. Fast-track scheduling for diagnostic procedures and same-day screening mammogram appointments are available. NorthShore offers state-of-the-art imaging including digital mammogram, ultrasound and MRI, combined with the equally important benefit of specially trained radiologists with substantial experience in interpreting breast imaging, which has been shown to improve the rate of cancer detection.
Our High Risk Breast Program educates individuals about their risk for breast cancer and whether they need additional tests or visits in the clinic—or if they can be reassured that their risk is not greater than the general population.
Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment
Breast cancer treatments vary greatly from patient to patient. Once a cancer diagnosis is made, our focus quickly turns to designing a personalized treatment plan for the patient. Breast cancer treatment is focused in two areas:
- Local management, like its name suggests, consists of removal of the breast mass or mammography findings and sampling of the lymph nodes. A technique known as sentinel lymph node mapping is generally performed to find if breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and determines if additional lymph nodes need to be removed. A lumpectomy and radiation therapy are used to complete the local control of the primary tumor in the breast as an alternative to mastectomy.
- Systematic management is the approach taken to rid the body of any cancer that has spread, or to prevent the cancer from spreading. Once local therapy has been defined, factors are identified in individual patients to indicate whether endocrine therapy, chemotherapy or both is appropriate for additional treatment in order to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer locally or elsewhere in the body.
Every week, our multidisciplinary team meets in a multidisciplinary conference to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. For breast cancer, your team may include your medical oncologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist, oncology nurse, geneticist, pathologist, nutritionist, mammographer,pharmacist, social worker and researchers, all focused on you. This "meeting of the minds" provides critical input, resulting in an individualized care plan outlining the best course of action for each patient.
Patients are at the center of our multidisciplinary team, and Kellogg staff arrange for them to be seen by their multidisciplinary specialists at one appointment, not only for their convenience but to provide a consensus on their course of treatment. Our use of one of the most advanced Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems in the country enhances our open communication and promotes collaboration in our patient care.
Research and Clinical Trials
A robust research program includes national and regional clinical trials for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients as well as for patients with metastatic disease. NorthShore's team of breast cancer experts are active participants and leaders in regional and national research, academic and advocacy organizations. Physicians use knowledge gained from their involvement at this level to continually enhance treatment options based on the latest findings and research.
Our academic affiliation with the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine provides access to an even greater array of trials for Kellogg Cancer Center patients. The NorthShore breast team is currently collaborating with University of Chicago breast surgeons and researchers on projects looking at surgical decision making and breast MRI for high risk breast lesions. We have a dedicated research staff that work with patients to help determine if they meet criteria for eligibility in clinical trials. NorthShore serves as an Alpha and Beta site for the National Cancer Data Base Public Use File.
The Center for Advanced Imaging conducts research into new MRI techniques of the breast and our highly regarded Center for Medical Genetics helps families identify genetic risk factors associated with breast cancer development. Our breast cancer tissue bank includes samples allowing us to perform translational studies that relate biological tissue characteristics to outcomes.
NorthShore is the first in the nation to provide our patients and their family members with Health Heritage, a secure tool that helps individuals create a complete family health history and personalized risk reports.
Additional Patient Support
Kellogg Cancer Center’s unique services and resources assist patients and family members with a variety of challenges they may face from diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A wide array of services are available to patients through the Center for Breast Health that include a Lymphedema Treatment Program, integrative medicine and patient-to-patient support, to name a few. Additional support services are available to patients that include our integrative medicine services and financial advocacy, to name a few.
At NorthShore, we know that the end of treatment is not the end of the cancer experience. Our Living in the Future (LIFE) Cancer Survivorship Program helps to ensure the long-term health and quality-of-life for cancer survivors.
For More Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112.